the good book corner

Manuscript help, book reviews and author interviews

Blue by Kayce Stevens Hughlett


Blue is the only color which maintains its own character in all its tones . . . it will always stay blue. Raoul Dufy French artist (1877–1953)

A bicycle named Rosie, a talking peacock, a kleptomaniac care provider and a hallucinating doula….. As one turns the first few pages, one wonders what this book is all about. With the narrative moving from Orcas Island to Seattle and then all of a sudden to the “Land of Tausi”, a mystical island, Kayce Stevens Hughlett’s debut novel is a treat!!!!!!
The story revolves around Monica, Izabel and Daisy. Monica, an aid worker with a fetish for shoes, has a meltdown at work and this event ricochets a series of flashbacks into her colourless and monotonous life. Daisy, on the other hand, is a girl caught up in a strange blue world, with a talking peacock and a multi-coloured okapi. With no recollection of how she got there, she tries to make sense of this adventure. Far away on Orcas Island, Izabel, who has no recollection of how she even got onto the island, gets caught in her own experiences. While helping a mother deliver, the traumatic experience passes onto her and opens up a box of lost memories.
Blue was inspired by the writer’s active imagination and the desire to explore her experiences as a psychotherapist and life coach. Very deftly, Kayce manages to pique the interest of the reader and paint a vivid picture. The vibrant cover adds to the intrigue and as the pages turn, it’s very difficult to stop. The reading experience is as exciting as trying piece together a puzzle. And YES!!!!!!In the end it all falls in place and what you see before you is a story that is complex, yet emotionally rewarding.
A must read, especially for ones who enjoy fantasy!!!!!!
Excerpts from Blue
……….Monica had developed her eccentric behavior of talking to nonhuman things—wine, furniture, the birds outside her window, and, of course, her shoes—after she’d started living alone. The difference with the shoes, however, was that she was certain they reciprocated the conversation. When she was in her inner sanctum, it was as if the chatter inside her head made sense like it did at no other time. She knew others might deem her crazy, but she could hear the silk pumps telling her she was beautiful. The heavy boots convinced her of her strength. Flip flops encouraged her to go outside and play, and the Louboutin heels spoke of exotic places she longed to visit.
………..Sitting on a cliff high above the sea, Izabel looked at the passage she’d copied in her journal the night before: words from Sue Monk Kidd’s The Dance of the Dissident Daughter. “The truth is, in order to heal, we need to tell our stories and have them witnessed . . . Sometimes another woman’s story becomes a mirror that shows me a self I haven’t seen before.” Izabel stared out across the open water and wondered what wound it was that she needed to heal.
………….To Daisy’s left, pale blue sand stretched for miles along a Caribbean-blue expanse of water. To her right was a forest filled with blue-tinted vegetation, such as ten-foot tall navy-blue mushrooms with white polka dots. Aqua palm trees towered alongside classic evergreens. Blue magnolia blossoms floated above the mossy ground where Daisy pushed herself to stand up. “Tausi?” Daisy scrunched her forehead into a flattened question mark. “I’ve never heard of it, but then again I’ve never heard of talking peacocks.” “There’s no reason you would have known about either. Unless, of course, you speak Swahili, or you’ve ventured beyond the limits of your rational mind in the past.” Her host spoke with a regal air that both welcomed and sobered her. “Well, I don’t speak Swahili. And while I can say I’ve felt a little crazy before, it’s nothing compared to this, ginormous talking peacocks and blue stuff everywhere. And what’s Swahili got to do with anything?” “Swahili is the birth language of Tausi, which is the word for peacock when translated into your English language. In other words, Swahili is the original language of the peacock.”

About artikaaurorabakshi

Artika Aurora Bakshi Artika Aurora Bakshi is the author of three well-acclaimed children’s books,My Little Sikh Handbook, My Little Sikh Handbook 2: Ardas, My Little Sikh Handbook: Travel Journal, and an anthology of stories, Hold On To Me. Her first story, set in Amritsar, during the pre-Partition period, All She Had Left, was published on Story Mirror. She co-manages, a manuscript help and book review site. Her passion for reading has led her to helping other writers with their manuscripts. She comes from a family of lawyers and has a master’s degree in International Banking & Finance. Currently based in Sri Lanka, she teaches Commerce and History on a part-time basis at an international school and enjoys being part of the literary scene in Sri Lanka. A regular at the Galle Literary Festival and other literary events in Sri Lanka, Artika’s articles and book reviews have featured in the Daily Mirror, Daily News, The Ceylon Chronicle, and various blogs, such as,,, She was actively involved with SAARC Women’s Association of Sri Lanka and was President of the Association in 2016. An avid reader, Artika runs an online book club with a membership base of over 600 members. Her quotes are featured under soul.nightingale on Instagram and on Soul Nightingale by Artika Aurora Bakshi on Facebook. Artika is also working on her fourth children’s book in the My Little Sikh Handbook series and a second anthology of stories for adults. You can reach Artika at .

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This entry was posted on September 12, 2015 by in Book Reviews, Fiction and tagged , .
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